From sustainable to positive for future generations
Our cooperative CONO Kaasmakers, has the ambition to be positive for future generations with its entire cheese chain. The Dutch government has set goals where the Netherlands works on CO2 reduction by 2030 and must be climate neutral by 2050.
Sustainable in cheese making
The sustainable aspect is not only in maintaining the artisanal preparation method in the cheese factory, it is in the genes of the entire cheese factory. We use less water, our operations are CO2 neutral and since 2020 our cheese factory has been certified according to the Climate Neutral Standard.
For us, sustainability is implemented throughout the chain from cow's mouth to store shelf. Want to know how we do it?
We make our cheese in a sustainable cheese factory. The cheese makers work with the most modern techniques. They consciously choose to keep making the cheeses the traditional way. It takes more time this way, we take that for granted, we like to do everything we can to make the tastiest cheese.
Cheese making starts with the milk, which is collected from farmers by our milk trucks. Pure 100% North Holland pasture milk. The cows walk on average 176 in the pasture, which provides milk full of proteins and minerals, the best basis for the taste of the cheese. Tip: check out the story of the happy cows here!
Then comes the cheese making, which involves a lot. The cheese masters still check the cheese milk themselves, and they still manually stir the curds in an open draining tray as they used to do on the farm. What is good must stay good, which is why we put the cheeses on wooden boards to mature for as long as necessary. This gives the best flavor and malleability. Beemster makes no concessions. Not to the taste. Not to the production. Not to the time and care for the cheese. Because only then can you make distinct cheeses, each with a unique flavor and malleability.
Wondering what it's like on the farm and in the cheese dairy? Check out all our stories
At the cheese factory
Making cheese is human work.
For example, we still stir the curds by hand.
Can't a machine do that?
But the eye of the cheese master.
It knows unerringly what the hand has to do.
Even if it is a bit clumsy.
Which in this case makes the cheese extra tasty.
Real cheese comes from the Beemster.
At the farmer's
From blade of grass to cheese
Craftsmanship is in the genes
Together to ensure a happy earth
Sustainable at the farm
Thanks to our animal welfare program, we know for sure that we can always deliver the very best quality milk and therefore cheese. Our cows are out to pasture as often as possible, an average of 176 days a year, which is much more than the minimum standard of 120 days set by the Quality Mark Foundation. They then get as much home-grown grass as possible. And when they are in the barn, they always have access to soft bedding for ruminating, cow brush. Check out our stories for cow massages and well-ventilated and spacious areas.
We believe that our farmers, who work hard every day for Beemster cheese, deserve a good living. That is why we give our farmers a fair milk price. Part of that is a grazing premium with which we have been the first cooperative in the Netherlands to reward farmers since 2002.
For us, the whole chain is important. From blade of grass to cheese. The earth gives us everything we need and we must use it sparingly. At Beemster cheese we are aware of this every day. That is why we like to keep the cycle going and every day we look for the best balance between livestock farming and nature. In the long and short term.
This completes the circle of the chain again: take good care of the earth, then the grass is best, the cow healthy, the milk of the best quality, the farmer happy and the cheese tastiest!
Meadow bird management is done in the meadows where the meadow birds like to be. This is often done in cooperation with farmers and volunteers affiliated with nature associations, such as Water, Land & Dikes.
Meadow birds are protected in many ways. These include drone with a thermal camera, spotting with binoculars, placing nest protectors or mosaic management. With "mosaic management," the entire meadow is not mowed at once. As a result, there is always a hiding place.
It also looks at protecting meadow bird chicks. Did you know, for example, that cow poop attracts many insects and that these insects are food for the little chicks. That is why it is often said: Cow in the meadow, meadow bird happy!
20% CO2 reduction on the road
Every day several RMOs (Riding Milk Receipt) drive around to collect milk from our Beemster farmers. Our newest RMO runs on Lng (liquid natural gas). This is expected to deliver a 20% CO2 reduction compared to diesel. In addition, the RMO combination also has an innovative trailer that is equipped with its own battery, which, among other things, is charged while driving. Pumping the milk from the farm's milk tank to the tank truck is therefore no longer done with a running engine, but entirely on electricity from this battery. This new truck also contributes to the sustainability goals of our cooperative.